Friday, May 28, 2010

Cold spell 5 months ago means more babies

Above are two options for necklace number 7. The one on the right is a better match, but not as exciting as the one on the left.
I don't need any more babies and moms who did not even look pregnant are giving me twins. These two does were born on Saturday to Casa and they are out Barbara's line. The two of them together are the size of a regular baby.

I added pin weaving to the scarf and really liked the effect. I was going to weave the rest of the scarf in plain weave, but decided that it was too boring.

I am currently weaving a vest on the same warp using more of the cream alpaca Targhee and some Merino seacell that I spun up in southwestern colors. It looks very different from the one above. My next post will include photos of it. I have 22 yards on the loom and have decided to finish the whole thing before taking it off. I have several cellphone sized bags, a few larger ones and a drop spindle bag which incorporates elastic in it. I will be happily surprised when I take it all off. I have already forgotten what I did as the first few projects and I have at least 10 more yards to go.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Lots of kids and yarns

Above is necklace number 5.
This is a freeform that I spun for the shop in the same shades with a deeper pink added. I might do another necklace with the brighter pink in it to give her a choice.

Above is necklace number 6. The outfit is a chocolate shade with some red tones. I used three shades of alpaca -some Suri and some Huacaya, as well as "red" kid mohair.
I had started weaving a scarf on my loom using a very loose weft. I did not like it, so I started packing it in tighter. I was playing around with the loose weave and realized that I could pin weave that section. I quickly spun up some funky yarn to go with it. I have already done a third of the pin weaving. Will show that in my next post. It is turning out rather cool.
Barbara and Amber have been running neck and neck in their race to have their kids. Amber beat Barbara by an hour. She had triplets, 2 bucks and a doe (she did not make it.) Barbara had twin does and, unfortunately, one has a deformed nose and no real chin. She is having difficulty drinking from her mother and I am trying the bottle, but she is not doing well with it either.

Amber's babies are now resting comfortable. They were born on the hottest day this year and were a little stressed.
This is Casa and she had her babies yesterday also. They are out of Rio and both does. They are tiny! Two of them are equal to one of Amber's babies.
Darling, another one year old doe, had her kids today and did it all by herself. They are also out of Rio. One is black and one is deep chocolate.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A walk through my week

Number 4 in the necklace series. I spun up 3 other skeins (no beads) that I will be listing on etsy.
Marc and I walk the dogs in the evening and, one day last week, I took time to photograph different southwestern plants at dusk, so I could have a true idea of colors. I need to finish the southwestern landscape that I have going and it is a darker one than my usual. I also photographed the roses that were planted a few years ago in the back yard. I noticed that they are growing in a very abstract manner - just like me!

I have had this scarf in mind for quite some time. I wanted to see what would happen when I used elastic yarn with my other novelty yarns. The yarn was all spun from the batt off my elsa carder and you can see how differently each one appears based on the technique used in spinning.
It actually works better as a collar than as a scarf. I packed the yarn in lightly, but it became a lot firmer once the scarf was removed from the loom.
Every couple of months, the rabbits need to be plucked. This is Copper and I carded his wool up at the same time that I plucked. I got 2.4 ounces into two batts. I also carded up Cadbury's. Just have one more left to do.

If you were new to the ranch and went out to see the animals with me, you would see babies playing and animals so deep asleep in the mid afternoon, that you would swear that they are dead. Watusi is pretty laid back and is never lonely. Marc finished remodeling a pen and we moved him 5 pens down, so he would have more shade. The goats, who are free to roam, moved along with him.
She still looks pregnant, but her doe kid is next to her. This one of the Texas doe's daughters, who was not supposed to get pregnant. I came back from the 4th Avenue Street Fair in December to find a silver buck having a good time. I expected the baby and she is really cute and self possessed. I could tell that there were color genetics in her background, because she was up and drinking from her mother without help. Pure whites seem to be weaker at birth. Still waiting on those picky red does!

Three generations piled up on one another. To the left is Shake (this year's bottle baby), in the foreground is her half sister from last year with her head resting on their mother Dark Chocolate. To the right are Shake's brothers - Rattle and Roll. Rattle is staying very dark with blue eyes and Roll looks to be turning silver with brown eyes. The bucks are for sale $350 with papers.
The shop is kind of quiet right now, so I am using my time to spin for the fall and list yarns on my online shops. If you are out of state and have bought from me before, know that these are my best skeins. It takes too much time to make listing any of the less impressive ones worth it. and The art yarns are on the shop and patterns and less expensive yarns are on etsy. I hope you will take the time to look and pass the word along!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mounds and Baby and Yarn Inspirations

Above is a batch of coordinating yarns in charcoal, white, and purple that are designed to go together, but can be purchased separately. I am going to re-photograph them, since the sun was a bit much and washed out the colors.
This is the freeform yarn from the batch above.

A closeup of the beads from the third necklace.
This is a closeup of the necklace.

A visitor to the ranch that I caught a glimpse of yesterday evening. He was about 18 inches long.

The chollas are in bloom. The blossom was the inspiration for a skein that I am currently spinning. It will probably be coiled. I need bright colors now to raise my mood.

I will probably name Mound's surviving ram "Pint." This baby was born last evening at 7:30. I knew Mounds had another and finally gave her some power punch at 10 p.m., which caused her to finally push. I could tell that she was not going to be able to do it on her own, so I pulled the lamb out. I had to keep pulling and finally had a white ram in my hands that was the size of a baby llama. It did not look right and I was not surprised when he died an hour later. His back legs were deformed and he never seemed to focus. His umbilical cord was 4 times the size of any that I have ever seen and he weighed 16 pounds. Pint only weighs 6. Mounds and Pint are both doing fine.
Barbara and Amber are sharing the leanto. Amber (right) is going to deliver today - unless she is a drama queen.
Getting ready to have a baby is tiring!
I have to admit that I am burnt out by the baby situation right now. Getting up several times in the middle of the night can really wear a person out. I have to admit that I would make a horrible care giver, since I need my sleep. I really do admire those who are in the care giving situation.
Since I have a huge veterinary bill to cover, I am offering all handbags - whether knitted, woven, or felted at 15% off for the rest of May. I keep making them and I am running out of room!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Update on Mounds

Mounds is hanging in there. This is the longest that I have managed to keep a sheep or goat alive with ketosis. She ate grain out of my hand a few minutes ago, which is a big plus. The IV is a lot less stressful than force feeding the glucose. I am minus $90 more for more bags of the IV and Dextrose. The vet on this side of town, who filled my prescription from the other vet was cheaper on all of it. Too bad they don't see large animals.

Going to take a nap since I will have to check at 2 and then at 5. The vet thought she would go in labor yesterday. The longer she holds out the better it will be for the lambs. I am thinking two.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Treating Mounds

I have named this the Moss Garden Shawl knitted up. This is the first skein and I have already knitted the second one, but not photographed it yet. It is gorgeous and I am really happy with it.
This is the second necklace and I designed a freeform yarn around it that I will be listing in my eshop - as soon as it is photographed.

Mounds, my white Rambouillet, has developed toxemia. I was watching her every meal time and feeding grain by hand, so I knew when she decided to quit eating. I had decided that I would be calling the vet, if she did. Time to learn a different way to treat ketosis. This time the vet suggested using an IV to treat her. It is sure a lot easier than trying to force feed the glucose and grain, since I have been bit several times. The veterinarian set up a vein IV, but I ended up having to use it subcutaneously, because the vein no longer worked in the evening - even after using the a special shot to keep her vein clear. She was also given a shot to trigger delivery and to help the babies lungs develop. She would have delivered by now, if that shot had worked. Her body functions are still working and she is still getting up and down, so the IV seems to be working. I am supplementing the other glucose and a power punch drench for animals that refuse to eat. She actually ate some last night, so I am not despairing yet.
My question is - why should calling a veterinarian be so expensive? It was $135 for the visit, $50 for the exam and then more for the fluids. So far, I have spent $450 and I might not have anything to show for it besides gaining new knowledge and the satisfaction of knowing that I tried. Depressing, since it is now hot in Tucson and business has slowed.